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Maintenance: Pension, IRAs, Retirement Accounts

Pensions, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s and other retirement savings plans and tax advantaged plans are often a core part of someone’s net worth. In the context of a divorce, depending on when the assets were accumulated, they are subject to an equitable division between spouses. To avoid tax problems, a Court will typically enter a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to divide a given account without immediately triggering any adverse tax consequences.

Although Missouri courts are not required to include or exclude income attributable to retirement accounts awarded as marital property in the calculation of maintenance/alimony awards, they are required to “consider” such income when calculating maintenance. Schubert v. Schubert, 366 S.W.3d 55, 65 (Mo. Ct. App. 2012). The reasoning for this is that “it is imperative that trial courts be authorized to apply a flexible approach to accommodate the particular facts of each case.” Landewee v. Landewee, 515 S.W.3d 691, 695 (Mo. 2017).

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